Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bees do it...

Jordan asked one day, “What kind of video games did you play as a kid, Dad?” I had to explain to him that there were no video games when I was young. In fact, the first one I ever saw was Pong, and it came out after I graduated from high school. We played board games like Clue and Monopoly.

I tried to explain to him about black-and-white televisions too, but I don’t think he believed any of it.

We had three commercial channels and PBS. A friend from Minnesota said he had two - if one of them worked that day.

The staple on Sunday afternoons (after football season ended) was Marlin Perkins and "Wild Kingdom". “While Jim climbs down in that pit of hungry crocodiles, let me tell you about life insurance!” Marlin chirped. I watched a lot of nature shows on PBS too.

Now, kept that in mind while you read the rest of this!

The city of Tulsa has a law requiring cyclists to signal continuously while turning. It also has a law requiring cyclists to keep both hands on the handlebars at all times. This would seem to make it difficult to get a drink from a water bottle let alone ‘signal continuously while turning’.

I was pondering the absurdity of this one day when a tiny voice said, “While Jim fights off that swarm of killer bees with a fly swatter, let me tell you about life insurance!” In a flash, the solution popped into my head!

Bees indicate the distance and direction to a nectar source by doing a “waggle dance”. They shake their abdomens vigorously while climbing the honeycomb at an angle. This tells the other bees where to find the goodies. They all take off together and sting the hell out of Jim, whose head is just outside the hive.

I thought we could apply this same idea to signaling! A cyclist could keep both hands firmly on the bars, lift his ‘abdomen’ up off the saddle, and waggle it on the side of the bike where he intends to turn. It’s utterly simple!

Overjoyed by this discovery, I shared it on a local e-list with other cyclists. One of them was greatly offended! “My children read this and.….." He went on to say that the whole idea was inappropriate, rude, an affront to public decency, etc. I suspect it conjured some unwholesome mental images of a large, spandex-clad ‘abdomen’ waggling back and forth.

Maybe he should get his kids to turn off “South Park” and watch “Nature” instead.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fritz said...

Ahh, black and white TV. My kids watched the Wizard of Oz the other day for the first time. My younger was completely dumbfounded by the lack of color in the "Kansas" portion of the film!

I don't think I'll do the waggle dance to signal my intentions.

10:07 PM  
Blogger George said...

Hell, my kids wouldn't know what to do if we didn't have computers, internet, TV with 900 bazillion channels........the list goes on.

I'm okay with it because they willingly click it all off to go for a hike in the woods with their old man once and awhile.

4:32 AM  

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